My first contact with a Jewish person came when I was in my thirties. The vastness of west Texas can be isolating, so I must confess to being rather uneducated about Jews, with most of what I knew taken from their Biblical history. However, when you move into a neighborhood where a number of Jewish families live, contact becomes more numerous. I can count now one close Jewish friend. He gave me a gift, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs which I prize dearly.
Since then, I have received Hanukkah cards at Christmas from patients who thought I was Jewish, and one of my daughters was invited to Passover supper by one of her friends. Later, I learned that at the stables where another daughter of mine keeps her horse, there was a Middle Eastern lady who wouldn’t speak with her. When my daughter finally asked her why, the woman replied that she thought my daughter was Jewish. I guess that was because my daughter had attended a Judeo-Christian congregation for a while.
With that background, I decided to investigate why Jews are predominately Democrat. One clue was contained in the reaction of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch to President Obama’s Middle East speech, in which he stated, “I believe this is the most dangerous and critical period that Israel has ever faced, and regrettably it does not have the support of the President of the United States, which in past difficult situations it could count on.”
Koch goes on to say, “I’m a Democrat. I support the Democratic domestic philosophy and policies, and will always be supportive of them, but I have no hesitation in crossing party lines when I think America’s interests demand that I cross party lines”. He also said, “Now, if a Republican candidate were to appear who was good on Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid and support of Israel, I wouldn’t hesitate to cross party lines.”
His opinion for Jews voting Democrat? “Regrettably the Jewish vote has been tied to the Democratic Party since FDR. No matter who’s running for president, many Jews think it’s still FDR.”
FDR? Franklin Delano Roosevelt? This was the president who refused to allow 900 Jewish refuges from Nazi Germany to enter the United States, and who instructed his Secretary of State to stop accepting Jewish refuges in 1939. Next was Harry Truman, who didn’t think too highly of the UN giving Jews the land to establish Israel. And then, what can be said about Jimmy Carter? He certainly wasn’t hot to trot about Jews. There are several arguably anti-Semitic Democrats in Congress right now, possibly including Congressman Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and a Muslim. Do you think he loves the Jews?
In recent years, several laws to aid and help Israel have been passed. Most such laws faced strong Democrat opposition even though Republicans, by large majorities, voted for them. Furthermore, the folks on the Christian Right support Israel and the Jews more than any group that is not Jewish itself – and they vote Republican in large majorities.
So logically, why do the Jews vote Democrat?
Rabbi Daniel Lapin remarks on this issue, “Jews and Christians need each other if Biblical Civilization is to survive, which is why I started the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.”
He also said, “… I am suggesting, at the very least, that Jews should stop speaking and acting as if Christian America is their enemy. I feel that all Americans who love freedom, whether or not they are religious, should welcome the reawakening of earnest Christianity throughout the land. I shall try to establish that Jews, as well as other minorities, have the most to fear from a post-Christian America”.
I personally like Otis A. Glazebrook’s IV explanation, “Once one accepts that Liberalism is a religion this becomes a simpler question. Jewish merely describes a Liberal Jew’s race. It has nothing to do with his/her moral compass. Liberalism, and all its tenets, will come first.”
Perhaps then, Republicans will just have to work to convert the Liberals to the Conservative way of life – even though, ultimately, it may be easier to convert a Muslim to Christianity.